Washington, D.C., April 30, 2009) — The head of the World Health Organization says the world now stands on the brink of a global pandemic. She is urging governments and health professionals to act quickly to stop of a terrible plague that could cost many lives, given how horrific past pandemics have been.
“The 1918-19 pandemic of “Spanish flu” killed around 2.64 million Europeans, according to a French study, which says that despite its name, the pathogen probably originated outside Europe,” reports Agence France Presse.
Excerpts from remarks by Dr. Margaret Chan, WHO director-general:
* “Influenza pandemics must be taken seriously, precisely because of their capacity to spread rapidly to every country in the world. For the first time in history we can track the evolution of a pandemic in real time. Influenza viruses are notorious for their rapid mutation and unpredictable behaviour.
* “All countries should immediately now activate their pandemic preparedness plans. Countries should remain on high alert for unusual outbreaks of influenza-like illness and severe pneumonia….Based on assessment of all available information and following several expert consultations, I have decided to raise the current level of influenza pandemic alert from phase 4 to phase 5. This change to a higher phase of alert is a signal to governments, to ministries of health and other ministries, to the pharmaceutical industry and the business community that certain actions now should be undertaken with increased urgency and at an accelerated pace.”
Please be praying that the Lord would be gracious to those suffering with the swine flu, and that He would prevent a full-blown pandemic from breaking out. At the same time, let us remember that Jesus said in the last days “nation will rise against nation and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be great earthquakes, and in various places plagues…and there will be terrors.” (Luke 21:10-11)